More than altruism: Cultural norms and remittances among hispanics in the USA

Mónika López-Anuarbe, Maria Amparo Cruz-Saco, Yongjin Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cultural norms embody the communalism and familism that characterize social structures and traditions of care among certain identity groups, notably, Hispanics. In turn, they affect remitting behavior as they do family dynamics thereby extending care transnationally. Using the 2006 Latino National Survey, the largest instrument that captures socioeconomic variables and political perspectives among Hispanics residing in the USA, we constructed a Hispanic identity index that is used to capture the role of cultural norms in remittance behavior. This index is used as an explanatory variable in a logit model for the probability and frequency of remitting money. We find that both the probability and frequency of remitting increase with higher levels of self-defined familism as reflected by the Hispanic index. This effect is stronger among males, renters, foreign-born non-US citizens, and migrants with fewer years of residence in the USA. Incorporating variables such as our Hispanic identity index may shed light on a relatively unexplored area in the field of economics that explains remitting behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-567
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Issue number2
StatePublished - 18 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Familism
  • Interdisciplinary studies
  • Latino studies
  • Migration
  • Remittances


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